WASHINGTON, D.C. - In what was a hard game to watch from a fan perspective, Delaware State used its defense to grind out a 45-32 win over Howard University in a Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference women's game at Burr Gymnasium.
The game featured a lot of sloppy play, poor shooting and several miscues. The tone was set early in the first 20 minutes when the two teams combined for 32 missed shots, 24 turnovers and only 11 field goals. The Lady Hornets (12-11 overall, 8-2 in the MEAC) took a 17-11 lead at halftime as Keyhana Wakefield (five points) and Courtney Crockett (four points) provided what little offense they could muster.
DSU was also effective in shutting down Howard leading scorer Zykia Brown as she missed five of six shots and scored only three points in the first half. The sophomore came into the game averaging almost 17 points per game and had averaged over 20 in her last three games.
"Delaware State is one of the top five defensive teams in the MEAC," said Howard first year coach Niki Reid Geckeler. "They prefer a low scoring game and that's what it turned into."
"They came out more aggressive and played with confidence," said Brown, who finished with 10 points. "They did a good job of getting us out of our comfort level early."
Despite not holding a sizable margin through most of the game, Delaware State was able to force Howard turnovers which it was able to convert into 20 points, and in a low scoring game, it was more than enough.
"When a team is trapping the way they do, it changes the tempo and forces you into mistakes," said Geckeler. "We have to match aggression when that happens and we have to take better care of the ball."
Delaware State won despite shooting only 30 percent (15 of 49) for the game. Its best offense was its defense as they forced 26 turnovers while holding Howard (4-18 overall, 3-7 in the MEAC) to 24 percent shooting (10 of 41).
"We are still learning to play as a team and at times we are trying to do too much or do it by ourselves," said Brown. "In order for us to have a chance for success, we have to learn to play together and not do things we are not capable of."
Brown led Howard with 10 points while freshman guard India Bradford came off the bench to add seven.
Wakefield of Delaware State led all scorers with 11 points while Jameka Smith chipped in with eight. Nine different players scored for the Lady Hornets.
GAME NOTES: Brown was named the MEAC Player of the Week...Brown and Nathalie Day combined for 4 of 25 shooting and committed 15 turnovers between them...Charae Baulkman had another strong game on the boards as she led all players with eight.
NEXT UP: Delaware State hosts Norfolk State on Saturday at 2 pm while Howard travels to Winston-Salem State to take on the Lady Rams on Saturday at 2 pm.